At around 07.40, in a cement manufacturing plant, a fire broke out in a concrete-structured building housing several storage pits including one containing 50t of automotive shredder residue (ASR), another containing 200t of sawdust, and a final unit that was supposedly empty but actually contained 100t of fine dust. The building was adjacent to a silo storing approx. 20t of animal meal. Firefighters set up a foam hose to manage the incident and a water hose to protect the silo. The fire was brought under control at around 09.15. The stocks sprayed with foam were emptied out mechanically. The water used on the fire was collected in the 800m³ retention basin provided for this purpose. Rounds and monitoring were put in place for the night. Fires were found to have broken out again and were extinguished. The incident was deemed to have ended the following day at around 16.40. Property damage was observed to the systems, structures and electrical installations in the ASR and sawdust storage and distribution zones as well as to electrical installations in the animal meal unloading zone. The damage exceeded €2.5 million.

The incident originated from an oil leak from the grab’s hydraulic system positioned above the ASR pit. The malfunctioning of the nozzle lines allowed the fire to spread from one cell to another. This failure was due to there being:

  • no plan to monitor the site’s deluge systems;
  • no action taken following a request to service the deluge system valve submitted 9 months earlier.

In addition, failure to clean the facilities led to the build-up of combustible substances in a supposedly empty pit.

Following the event, the operator:

  • tested all the fixed firefighting systems within a month;
  • drew up a fire safety plan in less than 2 months;
  • reviewed its maintenance procedures;
  • updated its crisis management procedure taking account of the lessons learnt from this event.

The Classified Facilities Inspectorate requested that additional systems monitoring actions be taken (regular checks and testing under real-life conditions of fire safety systems, preventing the build-up of combustible substances outside zones intended for this purpose) and evidence of site cleaning be provided.

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